Work Integrated Learning Placements and Internships
Stand out to future employers by getting real-world experience while completing your degree
Through UWA's Work Integrated Learning (WIL) placement program, you will go beyond the classroom to apply your learning in real work settings. This program will see you undertake a placement or internship with one of 500+ host organisations across private, public and not-for-profit sectors.
Enrolling in a WIL unit during your studies could be a life-changing experience. Investing time and effort into clarifying and building your future career path while learning is a wise choice. It's never too early to explore your options.
Join hundreds of other students who undertake WIL placements every year and reap the benefits
Practise what you learn
Putting what you learn at university into action in a professional setting is a great way to consolidate your learning and gives you a deeper and more authentic understanding of your discipline of study.
We are determined to produce graduates who not only have specific discipline knowledge, skills and understanding, but who have acquired a broader suite of transferrable skills that prepare them for employment in a changing world. WIL units enable you to do exactly this and more. They are academic units for which you get credit and they can be elective or broadening units in your degree.
Learn from industry experts
Through undertaking a WIL placement, you will be mentored, learn from and work with sector-leading professionals. You can connect with and start building your professional contacts and networks. You'll also be exposed to new and diverse perspectives, and gain the opportunity to demonstrate your ability to adapt to new environments.
Improve your employability skills
WIL placements give you the chance to expand your knowledge, identify gaps and enhance and develop skills that employers value such as professionalism, teamwork, problem solving and interpersonal communication techniques in work settings.
Clarify your career direction
Undertaking a WIL placement is a great way to explore future career options. It gives you an opportunity to experience and understand work culture and specific competencies of professions and industries. You'll get to test drive your potential career, find out whether you enjoy the industry and decide whether it's a career path you want to pursue.
Maximise your career prospects
WIL placements are a fantastic way to learn career development strategies and expand your work experience portfolio, both of which boost your résumé, increasing your chance of graduating with employment in your field of study. With new skills, industry experience and a host of new contacts within the sector, you'll have a head start on the jobs market when you graduate. Many host organisations we work with end up hiring their interns following their placement or provide them with valuable references, contacts and guidance.
How the WIL placement program works
Eligibility and Requirements
To be eligible for the WIL placement program, you need to:
- be a currently enrolled UWA student
- meet eligibility criteria of the relevant unit as outlined in the Handbook
- have the space in your program of study for the 6-credit-point unit
- have good interpersonal skills
- have good written and spoken communication skills
Students undertake their internships through enrolment in a WIL placement unit. Check with your allocated Student Advising Office for further information about the units you are eligible to enrol into.
WIL units are assessed as an Ungraded Pass/Fail. To successfully complete a WIL placement unit, you'll need to:
- meet all pre-placement requirements and submit all required internship paperwork on time
- complete the 100 hours under the supervision of the host organisation at a satisfactory level
- complete all assignments and meet all academic requirements as outlined in the Handbook, Unit outline and Unit LMS
- complete a check-in survey after your first 30 hours and a final survey at the completion of 100 hours
Elective WIL placement units
WILG2201 Professional Experience Practicum
WILG3001 Professional Experience Practicum
SCIE2205 Science Work Placement
SCIE2206 Science Consultancy Project
WILG5001 Professional Development Practicum A
WILG5002 Professional Development Practicum B
WILG5003 Professional Development Practicum C
SCIE5304 Science Practicum
Apply or Find your own
The WIL Placement Program is based on a competitive application process we’ve put in place to simulate a real job recruitment process. Make sure you put effort into the preparation, meet the required deadlines and are professional at all times.
As part of the process, you will have an opportunity to apply for internships and placements via our marketplace, which is available only to WIL program students. We secure a range of quality internships and placements for you to apply for that:
- develop your professional and employability skill set
- offer you the opportunity to explore traditional and alternative career paths
- are relevant to your discipline of study and/or interests
- give you an opportunity to experience what your career could look like in a large, medium or small organisation
- challenge and inspire you
You are also welcome to find your own placement or internship. We have resources and services available to help you if you choose to secure your own. You can also apply for external internship and vacation programs and, if successful, enrol in one of the academic WIL placement units and gain credit for your experience. These get advertised and applications open as early as February/March, so make sure you don't miss out.
The placement can be undertaken part time or full time during a semester, winter or summer break. Please carefully consider all your other commitments to ensure you can undertake a placement in your chosen unit and teaching period.
Paid or Unpaid Placements and Insurance
Placements can either be paid or unpaid at the discretion of the host organisation. In the case of unpaid placements, you will be covered by the University’s Public Liability and Personal Accident insurance and, where relevant, University’s Travel insurance, for the duration of the placement. We will ensure all the relevant documentation is arranged with the host organisation prior to your placement starting.
In the case the placement is paid, you will enter into a contract of employment with the organisation and be covered by the organisation’s insurance including WorkCover insurance policy. Their employment arrangements must comply with the Fair Work Act 2009.
Fair Work Act 2009
For a placement to be legally unpaid under the Fair work Act 2009, it needs to be a mandatory requirement of your course. All WIL placements undertaken as part of an academic unit comply with this requirement.
Intellectual Property and Privacy
As mandated by Australian legislation, University staff and students must ensure the non‐disclosure of host organisations’ confidential information accessed during the period of the placement.
Occasionally a placement may give rise to Intellectual Property (IP) rights and all parties should be clear about these rights. IP is a term that describes the application of the mind to develop something new or original. IP may exist in various forms, such as a new invention, brand, design, software program or artistic creation. The law in Australia states that IP rests with the creator. However, the creator can assign the IP rights to another party by written agreement. For example, most employment contracts contain a clause requiring an employee to assign all rights to IP created during their employment to the employer. If it is likely for IP to be generated during the placement, both the host organisation and the student should agree upfront about how the IP rights will be assigned.
The WIL is a great addition to any student's time at university. I would strongly encourage students to seek as many WIL opportunities as possible during their student cycle. Recruiters look for 'on the job training' in a résumé before your certificates and degrees, so take the time to get as much on the job experience as possible.
1. Ensure you are eligible and have elective space
Review your study plan and consider any other commitments to ensure you can undertake an internship as part of your course. It will be your responsibility to confirm you're able to complete your work in the unit alongside your studies.
Check the chosen unit eligibility criteria to make sure you are eligible and that you have the elective space in your course plan to undertake the unit. Check with your allocated Student Advising Office if you need any help.
2. Submit your Expression of Interest
Prepare your application and résumé. Use the resources and services available to you at UWA to ensure their quality. To begin submit your EOI, head to Sonia and login with your UWA Pheme username and password.
3. Prepare, be proactive and professional
Start your preparation early. Make sure your application and interview skills are up to scratch, and think about what kinds of roles you are interested in. Visit UniHub or book an appointment with the UWA Careers and Employability Centre for professional careers support.
Attend an information session or arrange a meeting with your placement coordinator. Before meeting with us, prepare to discuss your course, career plans and some specifics regarding the types of internships and industries that are of interest to you.
Your keen attitude will help you succeed. Ensure you put effort into the preparation, meet the required deadlines and are professional at all times. Also check your emails regularly and thoroughly, so you don't miss any important information.
4. Before your placement
In preparation for your placement, you'll need to complete UWA’s Pre-placement program via LMS. The program was designed to help you make the most of your placement. The three modules will provide you with information and guidance on health and safety in a workplace, expectations and understanding of professional behaviour, feedback and performance. Ensure you complete the modules as soon as possible after your successful EOI notice; you can even complete the modules before submitting your EOI. You will be asked to upload the certificate of completion in the placement system.
Depending on whether you undertake a paid or unpaid placement, you and your host organisation might be required to complete further paperwork. Ensure you read the information in the placement system and check your emails regularly and thoroughly, so you don't miss any important information.
5. During your placement
Once enrolled, the unit LMS is your primary source of unit information. Ensure you meet all the requirements and deadlines as outlined in your unit guide, LMS, and as communicated by your unit coordinator.
Once on your placement, you will be required to complete a check-in survey after completing 30 hours via a form in the placement system. The survey is an opportunity for us to check how your placement is progressing. We check with your host supervisor as well.
Important: In case of any incidents, accidents or concerns, do not wait for the survey and get in touch with your placement coordinator as soon as possible.
6. After your placement
Ensure you meet all the academic requirements of the unit by the deadlines as outlined in your unit guide, LMS, and as communicated by your unit coordinator.
You will be required to complete a final survey via a form in the placement system.
Internships are a really, really valuable way to figure out where your strengths and interests lie, what you're not so interested in, and to get a sense of what jobs are out there. The workforce is more nuanced than being an accountant or an academic or a nurse, which was hard for me to grasp without any experience in it. It's really helpful for figuring out what you want to learn at uni to take as many out-of-classroom opportunities as possible, as soon as possible.
Bachelor of Science (Mathematics and Statistics, and Philosophy),
Internship with BHP
Resources and support available
Finding your own placement
Look for opportunities everywhere. Within the University, there are multiple resources available to help you build the skills needed to find and secure opportunities. We encourage you to access these resources to grow your industry knowledge and connections. Students who find success are often taking part in multiple internship/job searches and work-related activities, including:
- networking through joining student societies and professional association bodies
- attending events, speaking with lecturers, industry representatives and classmates
- attending conferences
- taking part in ongoing learning opportunities
- Create your profile on UWA UniHub, search for both internships and vacation employment and receive regular updates.
- Attend information sessions and events run by UWA student clubs and your school, and build your professional network, follow up on connections made at events via LinkedIn.
- Set aside time to regularly check job portals and websites such as GradConnection, GradAustralia, WA State Government Internships, and Engineers Australia.
- Register and sign up for opportunity alerts from main job seeker sites, including seek.com.au, jora.com.au, indeed.com.au, careerone.com.au and linkedin.com/jobs.
- Contact your local council – they often offer work experience to students wanting to gain real-life experience working for a local government – for example, you could apply with City of Stirling, City of Melville, City of Gosnells, City of Vincent or City of Albany.
- Be proactive, research small and medium firms you would be interested in working for, take the time to find the right contact (often an internship coordinator in the HR department or, for small companies, a site supervisor). LinkedIn is a great place to start. Reach out via phone to find out if the company might accept an unsolicited application.
- Create a profile and register with company websites for internship opportunity alerts.
- Ask your network of peers, friends, family, academics and tutors for ideas and introductions or contacts.
- Join UWA’s Career Mentor Link program which matches professionals with students, providing an opportunity for students to benefit from the industry knowledge and career experiences of their mentors.
Preparing your résumé and application
The UWA Careers and Employability Centre and its team are your one-stop shop for preparation. Located on campus in Student Central, you can access a wealth of resources to help you build your professional identity. Workshops, videos, plus one-on-one consultations are available to discuss topics related to your résumé, cover letter, internship/job search strategies and applications.
Make sure you access:
- Résumé and cover letter workshops to help prepare you for success in your application. Secure your spot by booking into these sessions via MyUnihub.
- VMock – Online résumé-checking tool providing feedback on the structure of your résumé. This tool is crucial for students considering companies who vet applications using algorithms. Your aim is to achieve a score of 75% or above before submitting to organisations. Most students will start on 25–30%, meaning there are huge improvements to be made. Once you have uploaded your résumé to VMock, use the feedback provided to improve your score. Note: free résumé feedback is limited to a max of 10 uploads per year, therefore make all improvements suggested before resubmitting each time. Our Careers team runs workshops on the use of VMock, so make sure you attend one.
- Big Interview – A valuable online resource to assist you in preparing for an interview, including hands-on practice and simulation with mock interviews tailored to your specific industry, job and experience level.
Resources for students with a disability or medical condition
Register with UWA’s UniAccess. We can help with:
- guidance on your rights
- sharing access requirements for your disability or medical condition, including whether and how to disclose to potential host supervisors and employers
- guidance on the reasonable adjustments needed for your placement
- support during your placement and to ensure you settle in to your new role
- direct referrals to UWA services and programs that may also benefit you
You could also apply for an internship via Australian Network on Disability’s (AND) Stepping Into program AND’s Stepping Into program is a paid internship scheme that matches talented university students with disability with roles in leading Australian businesses.
There is also AND’s PACE Mentoring program, which helps bridge the employment gap for jobseekers and students with disability.
You can also discover resources in AND’s Job Seeker’s toolkit.
Have a question? Get in touch with us
WIL in Business
Tiffany Hill – WIL Placement Coordinator
WIL in Arts, Design, Law and Social Sciences
Chellyce Birch – WIL Placement Coordinator
WIL in Science
Alisa Taha - WIL Placement Coordinator
Connect with us